Prof Georgina Born

Home Institution:

Oxford University, UK


Georgina Born is Professor of Music and Anthropology at Oxford University and a Professorial Fellow of Mansfield College. Previously she was Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Music at Cambridge University and a Professorial Fellow of Girton College Cambridge. Earlier in her life she worked as a musician on cello and bass guitar, performing with the group Henry Cow, as well as with the Art Bears, the Mike Westbrook Orckestra, the Michael Nyman Band and other ensembles, as well as playing improvised music in various combinations as a member of the London Musicians’ Collective. She studied Anthropology at University College London at BSc and PhD levels, being awarded her PhD in 1989 for an ethnography of IRCAM, the computer music institute in Paris, a study that became her first book.

Georgina Born’s work combines ethnographic and theoretical writings on music, media and cultural production. Her ethnographies have often focused on major institutions – television production at the BBC, computer music at IRCAM, interdisciplinary art-science and new media art at the University of California, Irvine. Her books are Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez, and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avant-Garde (California 1995), Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music (edited with David Hesmondhalgh, California 2000), and Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC (Vintage 2005). Two edited books were published in 2013: Music, Sound and Space: Transformations of Public and Private Experience(Cambridge 2013), and Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences (edited with Andrew Barry, Routledge 2013). From 2010 to 2015 Born is directing the research programme ‘Music, Digitisation, Mediation: Towards Interdisciplinary Music Studies’, funded by the European Research Council, which examines the transformation of music and musical practices by digitisation and digital media through comparative ethnographies in seven countries in the developing and developed world.

From 2013 to 2015 she holds the Schulich Distinguished Visiting Professorship and Dean’s Chair in Music in the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, Montreal, and in spring semester 2014 she holds the Bloch Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Department of Music, University of California, Berkeley. She has been a visiting professor in the Department of Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture at Masaryk University, Czech Republic, and a visiting professor in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Stockholm. In spring 2015 she will give the British Academy Radcliffe-Brown Lecture in Social Anthropology.



Supporting Materials

1. LINK: - Complete Publications List

2. VIDEO: Lecture - The Arts and Humanities: An Endangered Species?

On 25 February 2011, a group of eminent researchers who work in arts and humanities disciplines in universities around the UK gathered in Cambridge for a conference called "The Arts and Humanities: Endangered Species?"

3. PAPER: Time, the Social, the Material: For a Non-Teleological Analysis of Musical Genre

[Relating to clouds / aggregation - dispersal / individuation: Particularly yellow highlight section from p.10-12]

4: PAPER: Making Time: Temporality, History and the Cultural Object

[Relating to temporalities]

5: PAPER: After relational aesthetics: Improvised musics, the social, and (re)theorising the aesthetic

[Relating to social aesthetics?]

6: PAPER: Understanding music as culture: Contributions from popular music studies to a social semiotics of music

[Relating to clouds / aggregation - dispersal / individuation]